Last time I discussed how you need to rush Sightstone, and how it saves you a lot of money. As long as you get one of those, it is entirely possible to not have to get a GP/10 item.
However, the two that are open are not Phil Stone and Heart of Gold, but Phil Stone and Pick. This, along with different masteries, leads me to feel that there was a little bit of a nerf to tanky supports and a buff to magey supports.
Something that I liked to do last season, especially before it was popular, was to go Zyra support and get tons of kills. While Zyra has been nerfed and is public, raising elo this way is still a viable option, as her popularity and success suggest. This is also one reason why Taric is so common and wins commonly. He gets the kills, even for idiots. While tanky, he does AP burst when he ults and then uses W after the stun goes off. Kudos to any support that gets to have nice survivability and AP scaling that helps both offensively and defensively, then.
Take a look at the items that are pretty supportey.
AP: Banner of Command, Twin Shadows, Shard of True Ice. AP Carry items a support can get that helps, if they get the gold: Abyssal, WotA, Rylai’s. It's important to note two of these build out of a GP/10.
AD: Zeke’s. AD items a support can get that helps, if they get the gold: Phage/Mallet, Blade of the Ruined King, Black Cleaver.
Tank/Defensive: Ohmwrecker, Aegis/Bulwark, Banner of Command, Frozen Heart, Shurelya’s Reverie, Locket, Chalice/Mikael’s.
There are more options for mixing AP and defensive/utility stats than there are AD, and this gives mage supports the option to have some moderate damage while still fully doing their job. To me, it seems like being a tank support is harder to gear up for, and you are more able to reliably and safely solo other champs in trades and or do bold and damaging trades and engages as a mage.
That’s just my impressions though: my main point is to show that mages can carry better in solo queue now compared to before and that there are more ways to do it. Pickpocket, Sightstone, 16/GP10, more item choices, the masteries (9 points in offense is stronger now!)—you’ve got lots going for you.
Solo Queue Mages at Bottom
Here are some mages that you can do well with in Solo Queue. Not all of these are new, but their options are new, and a lot of people still don’t know how to support with these champs.
Elise has a Stun, free moves, buffs, and spiders in spider form, including a lifesteal move, and two great pokes with base damage. She’s very niche but if you stay on top of them you can get strong bush control. Don’t try this without getting some experience using her in jungle or at top.
Now you can add more CC to his arsenal, and buff all those damage moves too. Twin Shadows seems to work really well in support Fidd these days.
Unappreciated and has poorer MR options overall except for Twin Shadows. though Twin Shadows is for him is a 65 AP item for only 1900 gold. Still, imagine this combo: Twin Shadows, W, speed up with E to catch them, Q to slow them again, ult. With over 100 AP, at early-mid game, for little money. As a support, this is pretty powerful.
Get approval from your carry first, but I covered him somewhat in the tower-pushing article. He supplies free health regen, can blind and stun, and can use turrets as wards. Banner of Command and Shard of True Ice are hilarious. If someone attacks a turret, throw the Shard buff on it.
I prefer going AD masteries/runes and Zeke’s, but her Q has a 1.0 AP ratio, her E benefits from AP, and she gets a stronger heal. She has a very, very high range on her heal and ult also that most people aren’t aware of, and you can take advantage of that ignorance. Late game, if she is targeted she can kite, if someone else is targeted she can actually deal some damage and shred enemy armor.
A kill lane to be sure, one that has always existed. Now you can take stuff that isn’t Doran’s Ring (which got nerfed anyway).
Lux was already legitimate beforehand, but now with flask she can be a lot more aggressive. Instead of only using moves when your mana is maxed or when it seems the other lane is going all-in, you can go spam-style, and even frequently use your passive for trades by just using flask.
Not my favorite choice, but you can go some more tanky items and be an off-tank now, or you can make your spears and traps hurt more than before. With the S3 changes, a flexible champ like Nidalee can go burst-mage, aura-tank, or sustained damage.
A lot more mana regen items. The great thing is that you get to have all the Wombo-Combos and cc generation without being relied on for much of the damage as well. She is still a high-skill champion and I wouldn’t recommend doing this if you aren’t highly familiar with her. Take a second or third point of E somewhat early. Keep the ball on the carry most of the time, use W to speed up the jungler or carry. I only use W to slow if they’ve committed and realize they need to retreat, or there’s a jungle gank.
Late game, do the same thing you would as you would as a mid, trying to get a great combo setup. You should be more conscious of your shield and remember you’ll usually want it on someone other than yourself as you will not be as high priority a target.
Very much cheese, I know. But with Explorer’s Ward, you can do Blue Golem buff reset shenanigans. Grab it, give it to your jungler on the other side, let him smite it, walk (float?) off, laugh.
The base damage on her ultimate is lovely as well to initiate a fight, especially if your team has the cc to keep them there afterward. In team fights, you can lead with the ultimate, then stun multiple targets (max E first or second). Use W, Rylai’s, and support items to compensate for her mediocre cc.
I wrote about him before. He has a 575 range, letting him more safely pickpocket. If you can get even a modest lead (that doesn’t even mean a kill), your ability to zone is really scary, because his passive and bomb combo always outtrades a basic-attack. In the best situations, you’ll be at the front, keeping them completely zoned and your carry outcs’ing hard. When there are fights in south jungle or close to mid, you can use mines to completely choke an alley in the jungle. You will also, of course, do more damage.
Not much to say here, only that she gets to do more damage than she did before.
FYI: she is only even better now. One time I went 9/0/21 with scaling AP Glyphs and penetration marks. I did somewhat well at bott and managed to get my Sightstone, boots, then a Twin Shadows and buy another Pick on top of that, then get a Shard. At about 16-18 minutes I was level 10 with just those two items as AP sources. Glitterlance had about 320 damage and 8/8 penetration on top. After hitting the other support or Olaf at top (I forget who) about three times in 30 seconds and taking a nice fraction of his health, he said, “114 AP? **** you.” As a support, being that annoying and having that much presence is very satisfying.
Also, that’s .5 AP more health on your ult.
May you kill or feed many carries.
Old Man Eyebrows
This week's eyebrows: